Roe 8: State Govt wins appeal against invalid ruling

Premier Colin Barnett says the Roe 9 tunnel will be constructed should his party retain government.
Premier Colin Barnett says the Roe 9 tunnel will be constructed should his party retain government.

THE State Government has won an appeal on Roe 8, successfully overturning a Supreme Court decision blocking the controversial road through Beeliar Wetlands.

In December, Chief Justice Wayne Martin ruled conditional approval by the WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for the first stage of the $1.65b Perth Freight Link was invalid.

He said the EPA “took no account of its own published policies at the time it made its decision and provided its report to the Minister” and “the environmental impact assessment undertaken by the EPA was invalid”.

At the time, Premier Colin Barnett said he was disappointed with the decision but would re-load and go again.

It took the State Government only a month to launch an appeal.

“An appeal is necessary to provide clarity for assessment and approval processes undertaken by State agencies and local governments,” he said at the time.

“The decision to appeal is based on advice from the State Solicitor’s Office that it considers there are valid grounds to support an appeal.

“The decision’s importance extends beyond just Roe 8; it is an important one for all of government because it deals with the question of when a government policy becomes a mandatory relevant consideration for decision-making.”

This morning the State Government received the news it was hoping for.

Save Beeliar Wetlands convenor Kate Kelly said the group would challenge the decision in Australia’s High Court.

“The whole project is flawed in every way, it just doesn’t make sense when there is a viable alternative on the table,” she said.

“Building the outer harbour at Kwinana Port would be much more beneficial to the economic and environmental health of our state.

“We’ll appeal this decision in the High Court and pursue every possible legal avenue.”

Roe 8 will link Roe Highway to Stock Road via wetlands in Bibra Lake and is one stage of a plan to link the road to the Fremantle port.